“Welcome to Bulgaria” Video with Music by Milen Kirov and Balkansky

It was a pleasant surprise to hear my piano playing and this track I recorded on for my friends from Balkansky Live Theodosii Spassov, Ivan Shopov and Ivo Kuker Christov as a soundtrack to these beautiful images. Enjoy the sights and sounds from my homeland!

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New Recordings and Projects

Happy New Year everyone!! Hope 2014 will bring you smiles, success, and exciting adventures. 2013 was a good year for me, but judging by the way 2014 is kicking off, the new year is going to be a very exciting one!

Milen_Duets_finalA couple of weeks ago I released a remastered recording I did back in 2008 with the great Bryon Holley (percussion) and Kate Conklin (voice). “Duets” is an EP that features a couple of original compositions and a couple of arrangements I did of traditional Bulgarian songs. It is an intimate, yet powerful recording that I am glad is finally being released officially. You can download it on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.

Another recording that just became available for download is “The Lion’s Dream” – a composition that was commissioned in 2012 by the Bremen (Germany) chapter of Lions Clubs International. You can watch it on YouTube and download it from www.milenkirov.bandcamp.com

Currently I am working on 2 brand new recordings to be released this year. “Modes & Meters, Vol.1” is an album of my newest piano music that features concert etudes for solo and duo pianos with performances by myself and the amazing pianist and good friend of mine Neema Pazargad.
Orkestar MÉZÉ’s second album is almost tracked completely. We have to finish recording keyboards and then on to mixing and mastering. It already sounds so great with amazing performances by our special guests Ellis Hall (Tower of Power, Ray Charles) – vocals and keys, Theodossii Spassov – kaval, Miroslav Tadic – guitar, and Todor Kirov -gadulka. Here’s a little clip from the studio featuring the wonderful Ellis Hall…

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Help Orkestar MÉZÉ Record Their New Album!

Help Orkestar MÉZÉ make their next record from Orkestar MÉZÉ on Vimeo.

I am gearing up to record our second album with Orkestar MÉZÉ in August, but we need our fans’ support in doing so!

As all of you know, we are not backed by a label or a sponsor and do not have a manager or an agent. We are simply an independent ensemble creating fun music and bringing it directly to you. We record music for you, we play concerts for you, and we count on you to help us make our second record. The truth is, we cannot complete it without your support.

This new album is extremely important for us, as it will show the development of our sound since the release of our debut album. It will include all original material firmly establishing our unique “peasant funk” style with a bigger, funkier, brassier sound, English lyrics and a seemless incorporation of all American and Balkan elements. And it will feature 4 very special musical guests:

Ellis Hall – the legendary singer/multi-instrumentalist, former Tower of Power singer

Miroslav Tadic – a world-renowned guitarist, called by Guitar Player Magazine one of the world’s thirty most radical and individual guitarists

Theodosii Spassov – one of the most important figures in the music of Bulgaria and the foremost performer on Bulgarian kaval

Dr. Todor Kirov – a legendary Bulgarian gadulka teacher, performer, and composer (author of one of the compositions on the new album)

With your help, our second album will take us to the next level, reaching many more people with our unique sound that instantly makes you move, this time garnished with English lyrics that will definitely bring more fans to our “peasant army” and will make our music easily understood all over the world. And with the addition of our amazing musical guests’ talents, this record will truly cross country borders and genre limitations and will present an inimitable and instantly recognizable style that can reach far and beyond our imagination and dreams.

Check out our campaign page, pick your reward, and don’t forget to spread the word!! We need to reach as many people as possible! Thank you for your support!

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Concerts, Recordings, and New Music

Hey there,

It is been quite awhile since my last update and a lot has happened since. So, here is a summary of the news around me from the last 6 months…

In May of 2012 I successfully completed my Doctoral studies at California Institute of the Art and received the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts as a Performer-Composer. The three busy and eventful years in school culminated with my dissertation, a book of concert etudes, and improvisational and finger dexterity exercises intended for the contemporary professional pianist and entitled “Modes & Meters”. This book summarizes the essence of my improvisational and compositional piano techniques and was premiered at the Roy O. Disney Hall at CalArts by myself and my colleagues and wonderful pianists Lisa Maresh and Neema Pazargad.

For those of you who live in Southern California, you will have the chance to see a live performance of “Modes & Meters” on Saturday, November 17th at Chapman University in Orange, CA and on Saturday, February 23rd at California State University, Northridge. I will be joined by Neema Pazargad at these performances and for more information, you can visit the links at the bottom of this email.

We are also planning a recording of the entire book in late December and a video recording of “Gorgon” and “Montis” for 2 pianos in January. Both the album and the videos will be released in the early spring of 2013.

This summer I finally had the chance to release a few remixed and remastered classic recordings that I had done about 10 years ago. Among them are “Luta Rakia” and “Yash Bob/Eat Beans” featuring the great Miroslav Tadic on guitar, as well as my “Bulgarian Suite No.1” for solo piano and another version of “Luta Rakia” by one of my projects Bulgarian Moonshine Co. Below is a video of “Fugue” from “Bulgarian Suite No.1”. If you would like to download any of these tracks, just click on the track’s title and it will take you to iTunes. All of these recordings are also available on Amazon and CD Baby.

Sometime ago the pianist Danny Holt commissioned me to write a piece for his unique piano and percussion setup for one performer. “Aegri Somnia” is the result of this commission and Danny will premiere it tonight at the Wild Beast at CalArts and tomorrow afternoon at Art Share-LA. It is an exciting and demanding piece featuring rich ornamentation resembling the epic traditional songs of Bulgaria and based on the asymmetrical 7/8 metric pattern of the Bulgarian dance Rachenitsa.

In October, a very unique and wonderful album entitled “Orenda” by БALKANSKY was released by the Bulgarian label Kuker Music. I had the pleasure of contributing to the album by recording piano on the beautiful traditional Bulgarian song “Tudora” also featuring the legendary voice of Yanka Rupkina,“the kaval-player of the Universe” Theodosii Spassov, the programming and sounds of Ivan Shopov, and the visionary producing of Ivo Christov. Check out the amazing visuals of the official album teaser: http://youtu.be/XKTxSjoPL0A

Thank you for being a part of my musical journey. Love and peace.

Milen

 

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